Lot 258: Roman Gryphon Parade Helmet Mount
December 6, 2016
London, United KingdomLive Auction
Description: 2nd-3rd century AD. A bronze head of a gryphon with eagle's beak, horse's ears and mane, scooped crest to the rear of the neck; adornment for a military or sports helmet. 29 grams, 35mm (1 1/2"). Property of a Surrey collector; acquired in the early 1970s. The head is almost certainly from a bronze cavalry or sports helmet of H. Russell Robinson's Type C, a two-piece form with face-plate and bowl. The famous Crosby Garrett example, found in 2010, shares features with examples from south-eastern Europe and bears as a crest a model gryphon on a curved baseplate. These helmets were used for the hippika gymnasia, tournaments performed in front of an audience of senior commanders. In these mock battles, both horses and riders wore decorated clothes, armour and plumes. Prestigious feats of horsemanship were incorporated into re-stagings of historical and legendary battles.
Condition Report: Fine condition.